It’s been a big week for African agri-food tech companies: a string of African startups have closed eight- and nine-figure dollar funding rounds. Kenya’s Wasoko and Apollo Agriculture received $125 million and $40 million respectively, while Nigeria’s ThriveAgric received $56.4 million. The latest industry report shows that the global agri-food technology industry received a record $51.7 billion in investment last year.
Financing in the field of agricultural technology
ThriveAgric Nigeria secures $56.4 million to accelerate expansion plans on the African continent. The startup aims to help Nigerian farmers access financing and sell their produce to corporate clients. The new funding will help ThriveAgric expand into markets such as Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.
Kenya’s Apollo Agriculture has closed a $40 million Series B financing to help Kenyan farmers access agricultural inputs. This round of financing was led by SoftBank Vision Fund II, with participation from the Chen and Zuckerberg Foundation and other investment institutions.
British livestock management app Breedr has raised £12 million ($15.8 million) in Series A funding led by Investbridge Capital. The startup has also launched a financial product to help farmers access cash flow.
India’s Aquaconnect has secured $8 million in venture debt financing from Trifeta Capital. The new funds will be used to build the Aquaconnect network, enabling fish and shrimp farmers to access high-quality agricultural products.
Canada’s IntelliCulture closed a C$1.7 million ($1.36 million) seed round led by Emmertech. The Kitchener, Ontario-based agtech startup uses sensors on farm equipment to inform decisions about spray coverage, operations and workforce management. New funding to help it scale up its farm management platform.
Food tech financing
Turkish delivery/food delivery platform Getir announced that it has completed a $768 million Series E financing, becoming a “decacorn” with a valuation of $11.8 billion. Mubadala Petroleum, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Alpha Wave Global, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global Management have invested in the company.
Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Wasoko has completed a $125 million Series B investment to help expand in the African market. The round was led by Tiger Global Management and Avenir Growth.
Sayurbox, an Indonesian grocery e-commerce company, has completed a US$120 million Series C financing, co-led by Northstar and Alpha JWC Ventures, with Syngenta Ventures participating. Sayurbox sells produce from 10,000 farmers to 1 million consumers in Java and Bali.
American artificial honey startup MeliBio has raised a $5.7 million seed round led by Astanor Ventures. MeliBio produces honey substitutes by combining plant science and precision fermentation.
German “artificial egg” startup Perfeggt has closed a pre-seed round of 3.6 million euros (about $4 million). Leading European food tech investors participated in the round, including the founders of Gorillas, Foodspring and MyMuesli among others.
Israel’s Resugar announced the completion of a $3 million Series A financing led by Eitan Yochananof, CEO of Israeli retail giant M Yochananof & Sons. It is reported that Resugar produces an “all-natural” compound that tastes and behaves the same as sugar produced in an industrial setting.
Miruku, an Australian molecular agriculture startup, has secured a $2.4 million seed round to produce milk protein in plants. The round was led by Movac, with participation from alternative protein investor Better Bite Ventures and others.
M&A and IPO
American agtech startup Sound Agriculture, in partnership with British oil giant Shell, will measure the economic and environmental impact of reducing agricultural nitrous oxide emissions, with a view to generating carbon credits.
Thailand’s Chia Tai Foods and Israel’s Future Meat Technologies have teamed up to develop cell-cultured meat products, with the goal of introducing cell-cultured meat products to the Asian market.
OnePointOne in the United States and Giant Berry Farms in California collaborate to grow strawberries on vertical farms. Giant Berry Farms also made an equity investment in Silicon Valley-based OnePointOne for an undisclosed amount.
According to Agfunder, the global agri-food tech industry received a record $51.7 billion in total investment in 2021, nearly double the previous year’s total.
Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown steps down as CEO. Peter McGuinness, former president and chief operating officer of Chobani, will become Impossible Foods’ new CEO; Patrick Brown will continue in other key roles.
The Bezos Earth Foundation invests $17 million in CGIAR’s future seed plant gene bank. A global research partnership focused on food security will protect plant biodiversity and support agricultural research.
The Everything Company of the United States has launched the world’s first animal-free egg white. The company has partnered with pastry brand Chantal Guillon to test the production of French macarons.
Wild Earth, the U.S. plant-based dog food, is now available at Walmart. The company aims to bring its rice koji protein-based vegetarian dog food to other major retail supermarkets in the future.
US venture capital firm Agfunder has announced the completion of its first $100 million agri-food technology fund. Agfunder currently has $160 million in total assets under management, a 10-fold increase in two years. Investors in Fund IV include Japan Agriculture and Forestry Central Bank, Alexandria Venture Investments and Nest Family Office.
Target and Amazon launch carbon net-zero grocery stores. Target’s first net-zero energy store is in California, while a new Amazon Fresh grocery store in Seattle, Washington, is seeking net-zero carbon certification.